US police are facing growing anger after a newly released body-camera video showed a California police officer put his knee on the back of a 26 year-old Latino man for about five minutes during an arrest as he eventually died of asphyxiation.
According to footage of the April 19 incident, which was released late on Tuesday, police officers in Alameda, California, pinned Mario Gonzalez, to the ground before he became unresponsive during an arrest last week.
Gonzalez was later pronounced dead in a hospital that day, according to a statement by the city.
Police officers had been dispatched to a park to check on Gonzalez after residents reported that a man was loitering and appeared to be talking to himself.
The deadly incident has drawn scrutiny in part because the slain Latino man appeared to pose no imminent threat to the officers when they arrived at the scene.
Gonzalez is heard in the video telling officers, “I didn’t do nothing, OK?”
Law enforcement experts raised serious questions about US police tactics, saying, “There is going to be a very intensive inquiry on this.”
“It is rare that a non-threatening, non-belligerent person ends up dying like this. ... What was the officers’ justification for detaining him? This individual was not a threat to the officers,” Ed Obayashi, a legal advisor and veteran police trainer said.
A man in Alameda, CA died after police pinned him down for 5 min — with a knee to his neck, bodycam shows. Police claim he had a "medical emergency."#MarioGonzalez was 26.— AJ+ (@ajplus) April 28, 2021
Family say police killed him "in the same manner they killed George Floyd." Officers are on paid leave. pic.twitter.com/HT5dP6Xuig
An attorney for Gonzalez’s family said the young man’s death was “completely avoidable.”
Julia Sherwin said the police officers should never have laid hands on him, let alone put him prone on the ground and push down on him — something that law enforcement officers should know creates “a very high risk of death by restraint asphyxiation.”
Experts said the fatal police arrest was a complete violation of all generally accepted law enforcement policies and training.
Gonzalez’s fatal police arrest echoed George Floyd deadly case, in which former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the African-American man’s neck for about nine minutes as Floyd gasped, “I can’t breathe.”
Chauvin was convicted of murder last week — a day after Gonzalez’s death.
“The police killed my brother, in the same manner they killed George Floyd,” his brother Gerardo Gonzalez told reporters Tuesday.
“He’s a lovely guy. He’s respectful, all the time,” said Mario’s mother, Edith Arenales. “They broke my family for no reason.”
George Galvis, executive director of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, said he wants the officers to be criminally prosecuted.
Protests over police violence and racial inequality have spread across the United States in the 11 months since the killing of Floyd.
California police have released body cam video showing officers pinning a man to the ground for more than 5 minutes during an arrest that ended in his death. Police say Mario Gonzalez had a medical emergency. His family says he died from excessive force. https://t.co/TkC7sjY2ad— The Associated Press (@AP) April 28, 2021
The incidents of violence against people of color and members of minority groups in the US have seen an alarming surge in recent years, which many blame on former US president Donald Trump's racist rhetoric.
The organized violence has not only continued under the new US administration but has become worse, say observers.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
Copyright © 2021 Press TV. All rights reserved.